Growth Plate Fractures and Injuries (cont.)
In this Article
What Kind of Doctor Treats Growth Plate Injuries?
For all but the simplest injuries, the doctor may recommend that the injury be treated by an orthopaedic surgeon (a doctor who specializes in bone and joint problems in children and adults). Some problems may require the services of a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, who specializes in injuries and musculoskeletal disorders in children.
How Are Growth Plate Injuries Treated?
Comment on this
As indicated in the previous section, treatment depends on the type of fracture. Treatment, which should be started as soon as possible after injury, generally involves a mix of the following:
The affected limb is often put in a cast or splint, and the child is told to limit any activity that puts pressure on the injured area.
Manipulation or Surgery
If the fracture is displaced, the doctor will have to put the bones or joints back in their correct positions, either by using his or her hands (called manipulation) or by performing surgery (open reduction and internal fixation). After the procedure, the bone will be set in place so it can heal without moving. This is usually done with a cast that encloses the injured growth plate and the joints on both sides of it. The cast is left in place until the injury heals, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to two or more months for serious injuries. The need for manipulation or surgery depends on the location and extent of the injury, its effect on nearby nerves and blood vessels, and the child's age.
Strengthening and Range-of-Motion Exercises
These treatments may also be recommended after the fracture is healed.
Long-term followup is usually necessary to monitor the child's recuperation and growth. Evaluation includes x rays of matching limbs at 3- to 6-month intervals for at least 2 years. Some fractures require periodic evaluations until the child's bones have finished growing. Sometimes a growth arrest line may appear as a marker of the injury. Continued bone growth away from that line may mean that there will not be a long-term problem, and the doctor may decide to stop following the patient.
Viewers share their comments
Growth Plate Fractures and Injuries - Experience Question: Please share your experience with a growth plate fracture or injury. How old were you?
Growth Plate Fractures and Injuries - Diagnosis Question: Please describe the events that led to a diagnosis of a growth plate injury.
Growth Plate Fractures and Injuries - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment or therapy did you receive for a growth plate injury?
Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!